Royal Mail stamps celebrate iconic Championship matches

Iconic matches and players from the history of Rugby’s Greatest Championship have been included in a new set of stamps issued by The Royal Mail.

Iconic matches and players from the history of Rugby’s Greatest Championship have been included in a new set of stamps issued by The Royal Mail.

The stamps celebrate the 150th anniversaries of the formation of the Rugby Football Union and the first international match between England and Scotland in 1871.

Royal Mail worked closely with all four home nations’ governing bodies on the stamps, which feature legends of both the men’s and women’s game.

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The players who were chosen represent not only both the men’s and women’s game but also rugby union legends from all eras, from the 1970s to as recent as 2015.

The stars chosen include JPR Williams, Simon Geoghegan, Melissa Berry, Sophie Spence, Roy Laidlaw, Danielle Waterman, Emily Scarratt, Kim Littlejohn and Jonny Wilkinson.

Royal Mail introduced the stamps to mark such occasions as the 150th anniversary of the Rugby Football Union (RFU) and the first England v Scotland match, now an essential part of the rugby calendar with the Calcutta Cup, which dates back to 1871.

The images chosen for the stamps come from the 1970 Five Nations, the 1984 Five Nations, the 1994 Five Nations, the Women’s Home Nations of 1998, the Rugby World Cup Final in 2003, the Women’s Six Nations of 2009, the Women’s Rugby World Cup Final in 2014 and the 2015 Six Nations.

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David Gold, Royal Mail’s director of external affairs and Policy, said: “The sport of rugby continues to evolve today and is becoming an ever more inclusive sport – with almost three million women players across the world.

“Increased diversity and inclusivity has seen the culture of the game change, both on and off the field. These stamps are a very fitting way to mark Rugby Union’s long and extraordinary history.”

Berry is featured on the stamp celebrating the match between Wales and England from the 2009 Women’s Six Nations in which she led her side to their first win over the Red Roses.

Wales defeated eventual champions England 16-15 at Taff’s Well, with Berry scoring her team’s opening try, before they went on to clinch the Triple Crown.

“It’s a huge privilege and honour to be a part of this collection alongside so many amazing players and memorable moments over the last 150 years,” said Berry.

“This game in particular holds a special place in my heart as not only did I score a try, but we beat England on the way to winning the Triple Crown that year.

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“This collection also recognises the growth of the women’s game and the drive to gain parity with our male counterparts.”

Iconic Wales and Lions fullback JPR Williams features on a stamp looking back on another famous meeting between Wales and England in the 1970 Five Nations.

Meanwhile, former Ireland international Spence – a two-time Championship winner – is on a stamp celebrating Ireland Women’s 73-3 win over Scotland in their 2015 title-winning campaign.

Click here for more information on the special rugby stamps